There were few Swiss settlers in the first half of the 19th century. However, two small Swiss colonies were established in Vevay, Ohio (1809) and Highland, Illinois (1836). In 1844 the Swiss government began to encourage emigration to the United States. Canton Glarus was sent to select a site and he purchased 1,200 acres in Green County, Wisconsin. The settlement was named New Glarus, and a log church was added in 1849.
Other Swiss colonies in America included Berne, Minnesota (1856), Tell City, Indiana (1856), Grutli, Tennessee (1868), Helvetia, West Virginia (1869), New Switzerland, Georgia (1879), Ruttli, Nebraska (1880) and Bernstadt, Kentucky (1881). These communities attempted to retain its Swiss culture with singing societies and drama groups. As well as traditional farming the Swiss became known for their cheese production.
It has been estimated that four-fifths of emigrants from Switzerland were German speaking. Not surprisingly, they often tended to integrate with the much large German-American communities in the United States. There was a significant Italian speaking Swiss community in San Francisco and enabled the establishment of the Italian-Swiss newspaper, Colonia Svizzera. A German-Swiss newspaper, Amerikanische Schweizerzeitung, began publishing in New York in 1868.